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Legend of the Five-Day Man-Beast

mp3 [3.97 MB] | Appears on Greg Reinfeld & the Opinionettes

you’ll never guess what happened
we were visiting my brother’s school
in the motor lodge parking lot there was a color TV
which channel to watch?
electricity first
talkin’ conflict resolution

there’s a trick I invented
called the Amazing That All Depends Machine
if you’re asked a question, shrug and say
"well that all depends"
it’s taken as proof of a reasonable mind
kneejerk as anything else

are there any good rock bands in Korea?
there are no good rock bands anywhere
example A, fellow travelers, is incorrect
check out example B
who am I?
why am I here?
well that all depends

with my subjects enlightened
I was free with them to do as I want
led them downhill to the swimming pool
through the chain link fence
fearing mutiny on the high seas
I thought I had goofed
but they were too busy imitating mimes in a phone booth

back up on the ledge there were six antisocials marching
with stern looks on their faces and impeccably equipped
in the machine I invented antisocials are werewolves
pity those who cross them

I took an entry-level course in Human Manipulation
first day we got photographs and slabs of clay
it was teacher’s exercise to see where we’re at
she didn’t really elaborate
"yo Teach," I yelled
"I’m dropping the class
this is moronic"
and then I stormed out
she introduced herself by the lecture room door
said "that was a test and by Jove you passed"

meanwhile back at the pool
with the motor lodge guests weeping
I sprouted a beard worthy of the Beardgrower’s Handbook
stripped buck naked
surprise, surprise
nobody knew I was the Five-Day Man-Beast


Less Is More Is Not Enough

mp3 [4.66 MB] | Appears on Skeletons

shoulda written lyrics for this stupid song
but words just don’t express just what I mean
I gambled my last dollar
I threw away my notebook and my pen ’cause fame is no excuse
and if this is a mystery then pay no mind ’cause you’ll be gone gone gone

shoulda sold my records in another town
’cause vinyl is the closest thing to God
shoulda sold my records in another town
’cause vinyl is the closest thing to God I’ve found

I said if this is a mystery then pay no mind ’cause you’ll be gone gone gone


Letter from a Yeti

mp3 [3.63 MB] | Appears on Live Inside an Active Volcano

Dear Editor, my name is Yeti McGee
last week’s paper had a thing on me
in which it’s claimed I don’t exist
well sir, I take exception to this
as surely as I think and feel
as surely as this ink is real
to your rag I’ll unsubscribe
I’ll take my business elsewhere

your journalistic standards make me sick
you ought not to write articles so quick
each and every word you type a starving child dies
I wonder sometimes how you sleep at all

you say that there’s a zipper on my back
how like a pot to call the kettle black
how unbecoming
I’ll tie you to my treehouse till you drop that macho newsman pose
then I’ll relieve you of your fingers and your tongue

I lack the funds to prosecute
I can’t afford a courtroom suit
what matters more is deodorant and gum
libel, slander, what a joke
one can’t just live and not go broke
hence reader interest is your only rule of thumb

your exposés are well-received
I mean no offense but they’re my main pet peeve
spelling out the obvious for those who don’t know better
you’ve saved the general public from its ignorance and sloth
and thus concludes my bluntly pointed letter
sincerely, Y.M.

P.S. Yetis are known for being shy
if I fall off the face of the Earth then you’ll know why
don’t call me yellow
human civilization’s nice and I’ve had such a blast
not counting your crummy paper, it’s been swell


Letters Home

mp3 [3.16 MB] | Appears on The Great Communicator

you feel safer while I feel scared
my generation pays while you just sit and stare at the TV set
watch some stupid talking heads
I’m in the sunlight digging graves

cancel subscription to favorite magazine
I’m going overseas, I mean I won’t have time to read
yeah send me a letter and I’ll write you a reply
remember that the Army reads our mail

I’d say our skills have far exceeded our need to use them
and it’s been said machines cannot replace emotion
so write back soon

they won’t ground me ’cause I’m too sick to fly
so sick in fact, the doctor said, I’m here till next July
hey it’s contagious and morale’s getting low
someone somewhere had a better day than I did

I’d say our weapons far exceed our need to use them
and it’s been said machines cannot replace emotion
I don’t know ’cause I’m computer just like you


Life in the Ocean

mp3 [4.31 MB] | Appears on Music for a Snuff Film

in my bed
I don’t ever wanna leave
it’s not the first mistake I’ve made

when I kissed her
my lips were dry
she didn’t belong there
she should have left when she still could
when I’m drunk we talk about politics
I wonder if it’s out of my control

like a soldier
give up the ghost
the last thing I need is a halo on my head
when the absinthe
wipes out my memory
elephants are dancing on the pole


Lisa, the Octopus with Shoes

mp3 [6.25 MB] | Appears on Tedium of Life on a Space Colony

Lisa has so many shoes
she doesn’t know what to do with them
so she built an extra closet
it was painted the color of cinnamon
she was an octopus

Lisa tried to go to the mall but it was too crowded
she tried to go to the department store but it was too loud
she slithered past the fountain by the outlet store
then jumped in and sprayed ink eight times but who’s counting?

8th month of the year
what footwear will she be buried in?
and since when was an octopus an amphibian?
what time of year does October begin?

she hardly ever goes out to eat
she’d much rather adorn her feet
with exquisite slippers pumps stillettos
kitten heels
less an octopus than a shoe rack on wheels
platform sandals she had a pet unicorn
she walked it with a leash so it was seven shoes that got worn
the unicorn wore platform boots with goldfish in them
these goldfish were the color of cinnamon
the goldfish got loose in the fountain
a prankish youth shattered the platform glass with a slingshot
and got caught

the pet unicorn tried to gather the goldfish
unicorn’s leash pulled the octopus with it
goldfish in tow the unicorn lunged at the youth who ran
the unicorn’s horn was a transponder and the sunglass kiosk was a toll booth
they went yonder to the parking lot
the unicorn started barking a lot
who’s to say unicorns don’t bark?
dogs bark and they’re animals
unicorns are animals too and all animals bark
but the youth was a helicopter
spun fast enough to lift up into the air
Lisa barked too
of course unicorns can fly
cut to the chase
the hunt was then airborne
don’t ask why
Lisa had to choose between her beloved unicorn and her shoes
and abandoned the shoes
and that’s why whenever you see an octopus they’re barefoot
the end


Logic of the Chainsaw

mp3 [2.87 MB] | Appears on The Great Communicator

never start a fight with a guy who has a chainsaw
he’ll saw off both your arms and mail them to your children
he picks a price and you can’t tell him no
so sad
shoulda left the crazy man alone


Long Division

mp3 [22.43 MB] | Third track on Winning Is Rhyming (continuous mix)

what’s a girl like you doing up past your bedtime?
uh, you’re lookin’ fine
even if you might be underage, so what?
I can show you a good time for the price of a haircut
that’s 11 bucks and my moms ain’t home
what can I do babe to get you alone?
get a burger and a shake for 1.99
I’ll help you with your homework if you help me with mine

why don’t we run away?
there’s so much I can tell that you don’t know, ah
why don’t we cross state lines?
leave it all behind
’cause I can’t afford to lose you
I can’t afford to let you go

don’t tell the feds, the 5-0 or your daddy
that I’m a convict and a pervert
and my mom’s upset she had me
but at least in the end I can say that I got some
even if it came with the help of a gun


Love Song on a Basketball Court

mp3 [6.07 MB] | Appears on Wintry Mix

I coulda told you how I felt but I didn’t ’cause I’m too cautious
I played it too safe
I was afraid of offending you
other things needed tending to or so it seemed at the time
there’s always some reason I can’t function in the moment
some reason I can’t live in the present tense

I’m tired of hiding behind hypotheticals
she loves me not
I stack the petals until the dust settles
if I make this three-point shot she loves me
if I miss this three-point shot she loves me not
I’m writing a love song on a basketball court
half court near my building by the parking lot
x marks the spot [spot spot]

I learned about slow jams the hard way
she said she’d go to prom with me but she didn’t say she’d abandon me right when we got there
running off to I still don’t know where
was it something I said?
was this a pity date and she backed out at the last minute?
did I ask too late?
was her yes even definitive?
all these thoughts and adrenaline rushing through my head

if I take this three-pointer and it bounces off the backboard
then bounces off the rim then goes through the net
it means she’s not done with me for good
at least not yet, I guess
and if it’s an airball it’s all over but I expected that
I’ll say good game and give myself a pat on the back
I coulda got a scholarship, man
I was on the right track
I was on the right track

I kinda knew all along it wouldn’t go as I planned
yeah, that’s my final report
love song on a basketball court
basketball court


Love Song on Castanets

mp3 [6.87 MB] | Appears on Wintry Mix

you’re the nonconformist I pretend to be
I wish I were more like you
both of us shroud ourselves in mystery
suddenly I’d rather tell the truth

I don’t love you like I thought I would
you’re so see-through
I misunderstood
you back away
I back away too
I’m so confused

it’s a contest to hide our eccentricities
while letting out our better traits
you and i, we’re players in a Greek tragedy
doomed in the first place

I want to get as close to you as I can
but I’m scared at what might happen
at the slightest thought of you I die and am reborn
I should just cash my chips in
I walk to the edge of a cliff but can’t jump off it
clouds block my view of the ground

emphatically I attempt to emanate empathy
so you won’t think I’m Narcissus by the pool
I’m a poet philosopher
all heart, no brains
falling off a barstool

I can’t breathe your rarified air
it only leads to disaster
so as a public service I keep to myself
can I run from you faster?
I have no adjectives
I have no swears
head over heels and I’m in agony


Love Song on Virginia State Schools

mp3 [6.74 MB] | Appears on Spring Cleaning

I’m aimin’ for William and Mary, you’re my VCU
why should I have to settle for my safety school?
snail mail, sealed with a kiss
carrier pigeon
I sent my package in early decision
I want to matriculate
I can’t wait
is it fate?
I’d like to go Ivy but I gotta stay in state

I hate your guts ’cause you interfered with my plans
I wrote a 500-word essay with the serif sans sans serif
who died and made you the sheriff
I’m smokin a spliff
then again what if
you know who you’re dealing with?
what I lack in math I make up for in verbal
in creative writing my prose is purple
got caught with the herb
dreams kicked to the curb
in real life they don’t grade on a curve

I can just see it in 15 months I’ll be making the Dean’s List
I’m going to University of Virginia cause I’m hella racist
don’t run for class president if you’re not white
case dismissed
someone gave Thomas Jefferson a facelift

I’m paying my dues at Newport News
got the commuter suitcase stuck zipper blues
better that than Overdose University
why it’s called that is beyond me
into the open arms of Mary Washington
as James Madison makes eyes across the room

drop dead, drop out
get out of my face
I got too much to do and no time to waste
my dad’s gonna kill me if I don’t get straight As
bad case of senioritis
enough of this rat race

safety school it is
I’m going to Richmond
opened the acceptance letter in the kitchen but
I never mentioned that VCU grew on me
after the no from William and Mary
beggars can’t be choosers
my dreams dead and buried
did I have a change of heart?
who can be sure?
no sour grapes, I just lowered the bar
besides, I applied
that’s gotta be worth something, right?
I would’ve regretted not even trying
oh, but you
you never acknowledge I exist anymore
are four-year colleges going the way of the dinosaur?
Virginia Polytechnical
talk about a mouthful
I’m going south to give a Georgia peach a apple
I’m going to Radford


A Love-Wound Telegram from Yours Truly

mp3 [2.6 MB] | Appears on Bookbinding and Other Songs

altruistic winds are blowing you away from me
I could ghostwrite your autobiography and you wouldn’t know the difference
we’re a Venn diagram
two circles drifting
I call this "Portrait of Guitarist with No Hands"
see you later at the talent show
we’ll all be singing Saints Go Marching

please forgive me for remembering
though you begged me not
folks wishing ill and thinking me dumb
we both sitting on land mines

here’s to spite
my only motivation
I’m only doing this to prove somebody wrong
it follows, then, that I don’t even like it
I’ll stop when something better comes along
and so what if I’m using you?
does it hurt?
is it a razorblade?

jaded mudpigs running from home
happiness drained
back away slowly
what looked to be a pond on the horizon was only a desert mirage


Lower End of the Upper Middle Class

mp3 [22.43 MB] | Second track on Winning Is Rhyming (continuous mix)

yo my cousin makes beats and I emcee
I set fire to the microphone literally
I burned my turntable and my stereo
I can make the vinyl sounds with my mouth though

yo the drug market, oh man, it’s outta hand
the cocaine I bought Friday turned out to be sand
the weed I bought Tuesday was laced with crack
I tracked down my dealer’s dealer’s dealer and got my money back

I think I’m hard but I’m not
and if I keep up this charade y’all I’ll pro’ly get shot
but see it’s cool with me ’cause I’m keepin’ it real
I drop an anvil on your head and watch you slip on a banana peel

I’m an undercover thug a G in disguise
I spend my leisure time in yo’ momma’s thighs
I’m a subliminal criminal and I’m on the loose
I drink four parts gin
[five parts apple juice]

yo when I say crack y’all say cocaine
crack [cocaine]
cracka cracka [cocaine]
when I say amphetamines y’all say pills
amphetamines [pills]


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